|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Ailanii's alphabet has 27 letters, including 7 vowels and 20 consonants. A lot of the unique sounds that some other languages use as a single letter are represented in diphthongs or diagraphs.
|Letter||Name (IPA)||Pronunciation||Type of Letter|
In Ailanii, the nouns declenate according to number, gender, and definiteness. Unlike English, the Ailanii equilvant of the (changes based on gender) or a/an (also changes on gender) is added to the end of the word to create a new word. Each noun has a separate singular and plural form, like the English "dog" and "dogs" and unlike the English "deer". Additionally, each noun is assigned a gender based on the ending of the noun: either masculine, feminine, or neutral. Masculine nouns end in an or ii; feminine nouns end in u or yy; and neutral nouns cover any other endings, with few exceptions. The declenation order is gender, number, and then definiteness.
Declension Based on GenderEdit
The first step in the three-layered declension is gender. Each noun, as previously mentioned, has a gender that is based on the ending of the word. However, all nouns have a root that is neutral-gendered, and an addition ending is added that is tells gender if necessary. For an example, here is a table for the Ailanii word for apple: popul.
As you can see, the word "popul" can be changed into "popula" for a male apple and "populu" for a female one, or left neutral for other uses. While this particular example is probably not going to be used often, this is helpful for telling both animals and people (names) apart based on gender. However, there are also the "ii" and "yy" endings that have not been explored yet. For the next example we will use two words: und (which means water) and lingø (which means language).
Unlike "popula" and "populu", the suffixes added to "und" and "lingø" were -ii and -yy. One of the most important rules to remember when gendering a neutral noun is that if a neutral word begins with a vowel (like und) or ends with a vowel (like lingø) then the -ii or -yy are added in place of -a or -u. Some words, like languages, are stuck in a certain gender, such as Ailanii (which does not have a neutral or feminine version that is grammatically accurate).
Declension Based on NumberEdit
After you've declined based on gender, then you can add more to a word to tell if it is singular or plural. Thankfully, it is automatically assumed that a noun is singular if it has no ending, so singular nouns do not need any endings added to tell number. However, plural endings require the suffixes added based on gender: -s for masculine, -s for feminine, and -ais or -s for neutral, with the diphthong included depending on if the word ends with a consonant or a vowel. The examples used below are çimx (bug) and infano (baby).
|Neutral (s.)||Masculine (s.)||Feminine (s.)||Neutral (p.)||Masculine (p.)||Feminine (p.)|
While telling that there are multiple babies ("infanos") or telling about the baby boys or girls ("infanoiis" or "infanoyys") is nice, there are ways to get more descriptive. In most languages you cannot attach the actual number of objects to the end of a noun, but you can in Ailanii. While, like in, English, you can opt to put the number in front of the noun while retaining the plural (such as "seven dwarfs") in Ailanii you can add the number on the end with a connector. Numbers that start with a consonant do not use connectors (expect "ai" for neutral nouns) because the suffix from gendering is a connector itself, but numbers that start with vowel need one of the following connectors in addition to the gendered ending (a/u/ii/yy): "s" for masculine and feminine or "ç" for neutral. The numbers used for the examples are trai (three) and octun (eight) and the nouns are hojan (human) and popaŋ (person).
|Neutral (p.)||Masculine (p.)||Feminine (p.)|
It's tough to learn, which is why some prefer using "octun popaŋus" to "popaŋusoctun" or "octun hojanais" to "hojanaiçoctun". However, it is still important to learn because the declined method is the more popular and historically more acceptable phrase (for written language at least). Don't forget that the connector may be -ii or -yy due to the vowel beginning and ending rules.
Declension Based on DefinitenessEdit
The next way to decline nouns is based on definiteness. There is one definite article in English - the - and it is one of the most used words. Unlike English, however, nouns encompass the definite and indefinite articles as suffixes. The type of suffix attached depends on the gender of the noun as well as the type of article you wish to attach. To point out something specific (like the), you can use -an or -na (for masculine), -un or -nu (for feminine), and -ain or -nai (for neutral). To tell which one to use, all you have to do is look at the already-declined noun and ensure that your new suffix does not have the same letter type as the old. Because of the order of declension, you will add the definiteness declension last. Examples below use the words jann (the door of a house or residence), maniin (hand), and arbon (plant). All plurals for the example are just basic plurals, no numbers added.
|Neutral (s.d.)||Masculine (s.d.)||Feminine (s.d.)||Neutral (p.d.)||Masculine (p.d.)||Feminine (p.d.)|
One thing to note here is the -ii's and -yy's that were added - don't forget the vowel-starting or vowel-ending rules (there rules, as you can see, do not apply to declining on definiteness). In this example, you don't see any plurals that end with -nai, -na, or -nu, but don't be fooled: a completely declined word like "popaŋutrainu" (the three female people) with these endings are possible.
The other type of definiteness is indefinite - pointing out that something is something, and is not a specific thing. The English indefinite articles are "a" and "an". In Ailanii, like the definite article, the indefinite article is attached in the process of declination as a suffix. The indefinite suffixes are: -ath or -tha for masculine, -uth or -thu for feminine, and -aith or -thai for neutral. The rules are the same for suffixes as the definite suffixes. The examples used in the chart below are lagavis (bird), inferni (fire), and suso (pig).
|Neutral (s.i.)||Masculine (s.i.)||Feminine (s.i.)||Neutral (p.i.)||Masculine (p.i.)||Feminine (p.i.)|
Notice that, unlike English, you can say the Ailanii equivalent of "a two birds" ("lagavisaitvesaith"). This means the same thing as the English "a group of two birds", but it is simpler and easier to use to point out a group - and it is all encompassed in a single word.
In Ailanii verbs conjugate to person, number, tense, and aspect. That means that depending on what perspective you are speaking from - first (I), second (you), or third (he, she, etc.) the verb will change (English example: I eat, he eats, they eat). Verbs will also change depending on if one person is doing an action or if multiple people are (English example: they swim, he swims). Additionally, verbs will change depending on tense - present, past, and future (English example: throwing vs. throw). Finally, verbs will conjugate based on the grammatical aspect (English example: I am eating vs. I will eat vs. I have eaten).
Conjugation Based on PersonEdit
The first "level" of conjugation is based on person. In English this would be the difference between first, second, or third person (I am, you are, she is). In Ailanii it works the same way. I am eating would be "eg sim eskarust" while you are eating (sing.) would be "tu sim eskarusa" and he is eating would be "iip sim eskarusai". The table below shows this in an simple table, using the verb badis (which means walk).
|1st person (I am)||2nd person (you are [s.])||3rd person (he is)|
|Walk||eg sim badist||tu sim badisa||iip sim badisai|
|Eat||eg sim eskarust||tu sim eskarusa||iip sim eskarusai|
The endings are all fairly easy to learn, but what happens if the verb ends in a vowel, such as nautica (swim)? In this case, you would add "tt" to the end of the verb before adding the suffix if it is third or second person and add "ai" to the end of the base verb if it is first person and ends with a two or more consonants. The examples used below are nautica (as mentioned before, to swim) and soxo (sleep).
|1st person (I am)||2nd person (you are [s.])||3rd person (he is)|
|Swim||eg sim nauticat||tu sim nauticatta||iip sim nauticattai|
|Sleep||eg sim soxot||tu sim soxotta||tu sim soxottai|
Conjugation Based on NumberEdit
The next step to conjugation is based on the number of people do the verb. An example in English is that "he does yoga" turns into "they do yoga". In Ailanii, it is simpler than that - you simly add your plural ending from the noun section to the end of a verb. Examples used for the table below are "_ sim vendezt" (_ are selling, first person), "_ sim deklinasa" (_ are lowering, plural, second person), and "_ sim mentonai" (_ are speaking, plural, third person).
|Singular||Plural (n.)||Plural (m.)||Plural (f.)|
|_ are selling (I, we) [1st]||eg sim vendezt||no sim vendeztais||no sim vendeztas||no sim vendeztus|
|_ are lowering (you, they) [2nd]||tu sim deklinasatta||tus sim deklinasatais||tus sim deklinasatiis||tus sim deklinasatyys|
|_ are speaking (he, they) [3rd]||iij sim mentonai||tus sim mentonais||tus sim mentonaias||tus sim mentonaius|
As you can see, something unique happens with the plural masculine and feminine forms of speaking. You will end up with "aius" and "aias", both of which are gramtically correct. You will also notice that vowel beginning and ending rules still apply to adding plurals to verbs, like did for nouns (examplified with deklinasa).
Conjugation Based on TenseEdit
Next, you can conjugate berbs based on tense. The actual change here does not occur with the verb, but instead the linking verb that attaches the subject and the predicate. This is "sim", which is currently written in present tense. There are two other versions of "sim": "saum", which tells past tense, and "seis", which tells future tense. The examples used below include three new words: yyp (she), çiŋ (sing), and murnas (die).
|I die||eg sim murnast||eg saum murnast||eg seim murnast|
|They swim (p.)||tus sim nauticatta||tus saum nauticatta||eg seim nauticatta|
|She sings||yyp sim çiŋai||yyp saum çiŋai||yyp seim çiŋai|
One thing to note is that the verb itself never changes - it is the attached helping verb. Up until now, the helping verb has always been "sim", "saum", or "seim", but that can only be used to tell tense. There's still one more conjugation method to learn that goes into further detail.
Conjugation Based on AspectEdit
The final way to conjugate verbs is based on aspect. In English, people can say "I am eating", "I eat", "I was eating", and "I had been eating". In Ailanii, it is a little more simple. Adding the person suffix to verbs is like adding "-ing" to verbs in English - so removing them can make things like "I eat" or "he swims". For example, "eg sim badist" shows that you are walk, but "eg badis" shows that you walk. Removing the conjugated suffix can give a whole new meaning to a phrase. Additionally, use of different helping verbs in place of the "sim", "saum", or "seim" can create other meanings. The chart below uses vehvo (ride) and klamtas (scream).
|ride||eg vehvo||tus vehvos||yyp vehvo|
|will scream||eg veil klamtas||tus veil klamtasais||yyp veil klamtas|
|have screamed||eg heb klamtas||tus heb klamtasais||yyp heb klamtas|
|have been riding||eg hebben vehvot||tus hebben vehvottas||yyp hebben vehvottai|
|was walking||eg su badist||tus su badisas||tus su badisai|
Ailanii features pronouns, like "eg" or "iip", in addition to normal nouns. They function like normal nouns and can be used in place of one. In English, this would mean being able to replace "the leaf was yellow" (pagain su aurum) with "it was yellow" (xi su aurum). The chart below features the most prominent pronouns (and possessive adjectives) in Ailanii. For reference, the first row reads in English "I, me, my, mine, myself".
|English Eq. (SP)||Person||Subject Pr.||Object Pr.||Possessives (Adj.)||Possessives (Pr.)||Relfexive Pr.|
This chart makes it easy to make sentences such as "they will swim" (san veil nautica) or "her sport is walking" (yymi sport sim badisai). Possessive Adjectives appear on this list because in Ailanii they are considered honorary pronouns.
Adjectives in Ailanii do not decline, or change at all, when used for different genders. Adjectives always follow the noun they are referring to and never change based on plurality. The chart below shows different adjectives and their uniform usage pattern, including some new words. Adjectives can be listed indefinitely without punctuation.
|The white, bald bird||lagavisain||albas calu||lagavisain albas calu|
|The nice, yellow fish||natanain||amikk aurum||natanain amikk aurum|
|The evil, red baby||infano||malju rar||infano malju rar|
With a verb, a sentence can now be created! Natanain amikk aurum saum nauticattai (the friendly, yellow fish had swam). As you can see, Ailanii is not that hard to learn once you pass nouns.
The next step in learning about Adjuncts is adverbs. Adverbs are used to described verbs (English example: swam quickly or lovingly killed). In Ailanii, adverbs are created by taking an adjectiveand adding -jel to the end as a suffix. Like English, only certain verbs work as adverbs.
|English Versions||Adjective||Adverb||Does it Work?|
The word order for Ailanii is SOV, unlike English's SVO. The result of this is that "yyp lagavisain odais" is correct while "iip amat susonai" is incorrect. Here are some examples of correct sentences:
- Eg sportais lumma. (I play sports)
- Lagavisain northur muscas. (The bird flies north)
- Iip populaith eskarus. (He eats an apple)